Karzai respects French leader’s decision on troop pullout
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai has greeted Francois Hollande on his triumph in the French presidential ballot, saying he respects the president-elect’s decision on pulling out troops from Afghanistan.
During his election campaign, Hollande had promised to withdraw French combat troops from the war-torn country by the end of the current year -- ahead of the NATO timetable.
Around 3,400 French troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan within the framework of the International Security Assistance Force.
At the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago, slated for May 20-21, Hollande will explain his troop pullout strategy. Among other issues, the situation in Afghanistan will figure prominently at the conference.
Late on Thursday, Karzai phoned Hollande and congratulated him on his election victory, a statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul said.
“The Afghan government respects the decisions of French leadership with regard to Afghanistan," Karzai said, while referring to the president-elect’s campaign pledge.
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